The Corpuls3 Modular Patient Monitoring System

Veterans of EMS are tough to impress, but the corpuls3 modular patient monitoring system used by MDA raised a lot of eyebrows within the U.S. delegation. Here's the lowdown on this novel device.

   Over the years, creative EMS crews have found ways to move patients and their monitoring equipment from where they're found into waiting ambulances without dislodging all the wires and devices attached to them. A German company has made that job easier with its modular patient monitoring device.

   The corpuls3 comprehensive patient monitoring system with defibrillator and pacemaker is a three-piece unit that offers flexibility in how much of the device is used, and for what. Designed and manufactured by a German company, GS Elektromedizinische Geräte G. Stemple GmbH, it consists of these components:

   Patient box--Weighing less than 3 lbs., the compact patient box is the heart of the system. It is placed with the patient and remains there during throughout care, storing data on a CompactFlash drive and transmitting it wirelessly to the monitoring unit. It preconnects all cables and sensors for fast deployment and ensures uninterrupted monitoring during movement. In addition to vital signs, the box monitors 12-lead ECG, SpO2, CO2, noninvasive blood pressure, core and skin temperature, and arterial, venous and intracranial pressure. Stored data can be transferred via its built-in WLAN, USB interface or CompactFlash drive. With its own backlit display, the patient box can also be used separately from the monitoring unit.

   Monitoring unit--This small unit allows users to monitor inputs, set alarms and document their care. Its color display shows up to six waveforms, 12-lead diagnostic preview and all vital parameters in individually configurable displays. Real-time print-out of up to six leads is available. Seven soft keys give direct access to vital functions, and a simple three-button process operates the AED features. The unit weighs less than 6 lbs. including battery.

   Defibrillator/pacer unit--Weighing just more than 8 lbs., the D/P unit delivers biphasic rectangular waveform defibrillation with full impedance compensation. Shocks or pacing can be delivered through paddles or the defibrillation pacing electrodes.

   All three devices use identical batteries. When the three modules are connected, the one being used can access energy from any of the batteries. Recharging can be done by 12-volt DC directly or by 100–250-volt AC with an adapter.

   GS Elektromedizinische Geräte G. Stemple GmbH reports more than 5,000 corpuls3 units are in service worldwide, in prehospital ground units, on air medical aircraft and in hospitals, but none as of yet in the United States. The company is seeking FDA clearance to market the device in America.

Ed Mund began his fire and EMS career in 1989. He currently serves with Riverside Fire Authority, a fire-based ALS agency in Centralia, WA.